Courtesy Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

Courtesy Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the construction of the $1 billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Exposition Park.

“Star Wars” franchise creator George Lucas announced this past January that he had chosen Los Angeles as the home for his 275,000-square-foot museum to house his personal collection of “Star Wars” art and other material. Lucas has said he will fund the museum construction and bestow an endowment of $400 million to operate the museum.

Los Angeles beat out a competing proposal to host the museum from San Francisco; an earlier proposal to build the museum in Chicago foundered after negotiations between Lucas’ team and the city broke down.

The L.A. council approved the project and its environmental documents Tuesday after testimony from Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson about his vision for the museum and his formative experience at neighboring USC.

Construction is set to begin early next year and take three years, creating an estimated 10,000 construction-related jobs. The museum complex is expected to employ an estimated 1,000 permanent jobs.

Once completed, the Lucas Museum will join a new building at the California Science Center to accommodate the Endeavor space shuttle - set to open in 2019 -and a recently renovated Natural History Museum among the recent projects transforming Exposition Park.

After the vote, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti called the forthcoming museum an “architectural jewel” for Exposition Park.

“The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will add another world-class institution to our city’s cultural landscape, and bring a breathtaking architectural jewel to Exposition Park,” Garcetti said in a statement. “I am proud to have worked with George Lucas and Mellody Hobson to bring this incredible gift to Los Angeles - and I applaud the City Council for voting to approve a gem for South L.A. that will touch the lives of Angelenos and visitors for generations to come.”

Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

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